SA murder accused to remain in UK hospital

2014-05-24 06:30
Tributes are placed outside a house in New Malden, south London, after three children were found dead at the house. (File, AFP)

Tributes are placed outside a house in New Malden, south London, after three children were found dead at the house. (File, AFP)

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London - A South African woman accused of murdering her three young disabled children in Britain was further remanded to a secure hospital on Friday, the British Press Association reported.

Tania Clarence, 42, was sent to a hospital for treatment at the end of April and on Friday her stay was extended until 20 June. Her situation will be reviewed again then.

Clarence is accused of killing her 3-year-old twin sons, Ben and Max, and 4 year-old daughter, Olivia, at their home.

Judge Brian Barker, the Recorder of London, ruled last month that she could be released from prison and enter a secure hospital under the Mental Health Act.

He said then: "It seems to me, having heard submissions on both sides and having discussed the matter with medical experts, there is an overriding need for immediate treatment in a secure setting.

"There is a combination of circumstances here that makes this an exceptional case and allows this court to take an exceptional course.

"It isn't bail, but what we are doing is ordering for her to be subject to a Section 35 order under the Mental Health Act, so she can then be remanded effectively for review of her condition."

She is accused of three counts of murdering a child aged over one year old between 20 April and 23 April this year.

All three young children suffered from type two spinal muscular atrophy.

Also known as floppy baby syndrome, the genetic condition leaves children with little control of their movements and can drastically shorten life expectancy.

Police were called to the family's five-bedroom home in Thetford Road in the wealthy south-west London suburb of New Malden at 21:30 on 22 April where they discovered the children, who were pronounced dead at the scene.

Clarence was treated for cuts at St George's Hospital in Tooting, south London, and charged on 24 April.

A plea and case management hearing will be held at the Old Bailey on 15 July.

- SAPA
Read more on:    uk  |  crime
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